Welcome back Disney Fam!!! Thanks for coming back to join us for How to Afford Walt Disney World, Part II. We hope after reading the first installment, you’ve put our tips to the test and have started growing your own little Disney vacation fund. (If you haven’t read part one yet click here and then come right back!). So let’s dive back in and pick up where we left off last time with tip number four.
4. Get Out of Debt
Y’all I hate debt!!! I hate the D in debt the E, the B, and the T! Debt is evil point blank period!!! You may still be paying off that purse or pair of jeans you bought four years ago. The only way we make it to Walt Disney World every year is to avoid debt like it’s an infectious disease.
According to nerdwallet.com the average American family in 2019 has credit card debt somewhere around $6,700! And that’s just credit cards; that doesn’t include things like mortgages, car notes, and student loans.
When we first got married we came across the teachings of Dave Ramsey and jumped in with both feet. We read all of his books, went to conferences, and listened to the radio broadcast regularly. We started by paying off our smallest debt so we could get motivated (as Dave advises). Then we rolled that payment into paying off the next debt and the next until we were almost completely out of debt. As it stands now we have only one student loan left and our mortgage!
(And if you by chance know of a kind angel who would like to be the answer to our prayers and miraculously pay off our remaining debt, we will gladly accept your generosity, pray it comes back to you 100 fold, and pass the blessing of debt freeness on to the next family!)
We drive paid for, older reliable cars. We plan on buying our next car cash when the wheels fall off these two. Until then we are good with what we have.
Another thing that really helped us manage our debt was purchasing way less house than we could afford. Being house poor is a sad state of affairs, y’all. I like my house and all just not enough to never leave that sucker again and go on vacation!
It’s also a must to keep some money in a savings account in case big ticket items come up. And they will come up (i.e. the 100 year old infected pine tree we just had to have cut down). When your next unexpected expense comes up you can borrow money from own savings (interest free) instead of running to a credit card.
Sit down and look at your household total debt and see how you can cut it down. It may not happen overnight but keep chipping away at it and it eventually will!
5. Don’t Ball Out Now, Ball Out Later
Our next tip is all about delayed gratification. On a day to day basis, we don’t spend lots of money. We don’t go to fancy restaurants or even not so fancy restaurants every week. We don’t take trips every weekend. We don’t buy things just because they’re the latest and greatest.
We decided a long time ago that we value memories over things. Like today for example, we loaded the girlies bikes in the trunk and headed to our local farmers’ market. We picked out a few things then headed to a local trail to let the girls ride their bikes to the playground. It started drizzling a little and that turned it into the best day ever for our little girlies (and us too)!!! Besides the few dollars we spent on some fresh veggies for the week, we spent ZERO dollars and made some super fun memories!
Think of some ways to have fun and not spend all of your money. Try playing fun games at home, going to free events around town. Go to the movies on $5 Tuesday instead of $15 every other day of the week. Visit the arcade and Dave and Buster’s on their 50% off day. You’ll spend half the money and still have all the fun!
Our daily life style of saving pays off in dividends when we go to Disney y’all! We ball out! We eat at fancy restaurants on the daily. We buy special things we want. We eat way too many snacks and treats. When we vacation, we vacation hard, y’all!!!
Living like this has the added benefit of teaching your kiddos (and yourself) that you don’t always have to spend money to have fun. Do some research and find some cool things to do with your family that don’t cost a ton of money. That way you can put away more in your Disney vacation fund each month!
6. Put that Income Tax Check to Work
Every year second Christmas comes around in the Hudson household, as it does in many households across America…Income Tax Refund Day!!! While I know the temptation may be to go out and buy those new shoes or that new tv you’ve been wanting, wait one second before you do!
What if you did things differently this year? What if you first took a look at paying off any debt you’ve amassed (remember, we HATE debt)? If you can’t pay it off completely, you could still pay a large lump sum towards it which will save you tons in interest.
Then, why not take the rest and put it towards your Disney vacation fund? Even if you’re not able to pay for your entire trip (and you may very well be able to) you can give yourself a great big head start.
Just seeing that you’ve already got a substantial amount of your Disney vacation paid for will be motivation to get you started towards saving more and more. Soon you’ll be looking at your sweet kiddos faces as you drive under the Walt Disney World welcome sign for the first time! (You’ll probably have on a big ole Kool-Aid smile on your face too! I know we did!)
Alright guys so that does it for How to Afford Walt Disney World, Part II. Join us next time as we round out the series with our last few money-saving tips.
Until then we’d love to hear from you! What are some ways you and your family have fun for ZERO dollars? Are you and your family out of debt or trying to be? Tell us about it in the comments below!
Thanks for stopping by!